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Demography from "virtual cemeteries"

By Erin Larson

Alaska Pacific University

This module is a modification of the Lanza module in TIEE Volume 8. Rather than requiring students to visit cemeteries outside of class, this modification has students collect data from online cemetery databases, analyze data, and present to the...

Listed in Teaching Materials | resource by group ESA Data Access - Inclusive Pedagogy

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Version 1.1 - published on 18 May 2020 doi:10.25334/65XT-CM66 - cite this

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Adapted from: Demography from physical cemeteries, "virtual cemeteries," and census data v 1.0



This module is a modification of the " Demography from physical cemeteries, "virtual cemeteries," and census data " module by Lanza 2012 in TIEE Volume 8. 


This modification differs from the original module in several ways, while retaining the overall learning objective of analyzing population demography. This modification lets students collect data from online cemetery databases during class, eliminating the need for students to transport themselves to a local cemetery outside of class time. This modification also includes a life table template exercise to familiarize students with life table calculations and graphing in Excel. By implementing the module entirely during class, the instructor can also help mitigate any group dynamics issues arising from group work. 


This module modification is designed to be implemented in 1-2 lab/in-class periods (3 hours total), with no advance work. Students are assessed based on their answers to discussion questions in the lab handout, and their completed Excel files with their group’s data, life table, and survivorship curves.  


The author would like to thank the organizers of the QUBES ESA Data Access and Inclusion Spring 2020 FMN, for their mentorship and organizational support. The author would also like to thank her fellow FMN participants for their peer support while teaching during Covid-19. 


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While this version was taught in an in-person class, prior to the move to online instruction due to Covid-19 in Spring 2020, this version of the module, with its online data collection methods, could be easily adapted to an online classroom setting.

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